MP govt announces judicial probe into Bhopal encounter

The panel will examine the circumstances which led to the SIMI operatives' escape and the encounter in which they were shot dead.

Reeling under pressure from various political parties, the Madhya Pradesh government has ordered a judicial inquiry into both the Bhopal jailbreak and the following encounter.

The inquiry commission will be headed by retired High Court judge Justice SK Pandey. The panel will examine the circumstances that led to the SIMI operatives’ escape and the subsequent encounter in which they were shot dead.

Asking for a detailed report on the encounter, the Madhya Pradesh High Court had issued a notice to the state government. An NIA probe was declared by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan earlier.

On the other hand, MP Home Minister Bhupendra Singh had said earlier that there is no need for any probe into the matter.

 Eight SIMI operatives, who were undergoing trial, had escaped on Sunday night from Bhopal Central Jail after killing security official Ramashankar Yadav. They were gunned down later.

The contradictory statements of various officials and Ministers raised doubts about the credibility of the encounter. Leaders of opposition parties and social activists have raised questions about it.

Videos of the encounter surfaced also gave much strength to the criticisms.